Photo credit: Melissa Barker
Bike Newport, the non-profit organization that improves, encourages, and facilitates bicycling in and around Newport, RI, is moving operations to 62 Broadway in Newport, Rhode Island – the site of the former Newport Medical Center.
Since May, Bike Newport has been temporarily housed in a former gas station on Spring Street, a space that supported the busy Community Bike Project and advocacy work under the same roof. The newly leased location at 62 Broadway will allow Bike Newport to continue to conduct these programs side by side, while also giving more space for planning meetings, classes, community gatherings and more.
Butch Murray, owner of the Spring Street location as well as the Fastnet Pub, made the Spring Street site available to Bike Newport for this short period. “Without Butch’s support, the building transformation and our program growth over the past the seven months would not have happened,” shared Bari Freeman, Bike Newport’s Executive Director. “On Spring Street, we accomplished our intention – to prove the impact we can have when centrally located. Now we’ll be able to maintain this high level of activity in the heart of the city. Butch’s friendship and generosity really made it possible.”
According to a press release, being located in downtown Newport greatly increased the visibility of the community bicycle restoration program – attracting and engaging people of every age, every type of bike experience, and every walk of life. During the summer months alone, scores of program participants worked on their own bicycles, while more than 100 more bicycles were restored and distributed into the community. The very central and accessible location at 62 Broadway will encourage more community involvement, as well as an expansion of other educational programs. In addition to administrative offices and a basement for bike storage, the new space will feature a mapping and strategy room, conference room, classroom, and other meeting space.
Steve Kirby of Kirby Commercial, a friend of Bike Newport said “I’ve always appreciated what Bike Newport brings to the community, and I’m happy I could help them find this new longer-term site to continue to grow. The space appears to be ideal.”
Bike Newport also has the generous support of the property owners on Broadway – Schochet Companies – so they can develop the site to meet program needs. And once again, Northeast Collaborative Architects is donating their design services to ensure the bike culture vibe isn’t left behind on Spring Street. “It’s a different set of criteria on Broadway, but we’ll help the site say ‘bike happiness’ just as it does now on Spring Street,” shares NCA partner architect Glenn Gardiner.
Bike Newport will need volunteers to help with the move and the new site transformation during the first two weeks of November. Community service hours are available and refreshments will be on hand. Keep an eye on their Facebook page, Bike Newport RI, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest.
In addition to downtown activities, the Bike Garage at Rogers HS and the Bike Library at the Florence Gray Center are in full swing. The popular Bike Library is open for youth action every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Visit www.bikenewportri.org/bike- garage/ for the full list of locations and programs.
Bike Newport is entering its fifth year improving and encouraging bicycling in collaboration with the city, police, schools, businesses, planners, and other agencies locally and statewide.